Although we have dealt with this passage last week, there is language in this passage, and in earlier passages, that deserves our closer attention.
In Revelation 2:9 we read "I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan." In this passage we read the same accusation, "I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars…" which indicate to us that there are two types of Jews: those who say they are Jews, and those who are truly Jews; Jews at heart: the elect.
By studying this aspect now, we will be able to better understand later the division that exists between the elect and the reprobate, regardless of their physical ancestry.
How are we to interpret this difference, especially since the Old Testament promises benefits and blessings to the offspring of Abraham?
Genesis 12:7 The LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your offspring I will give this land." So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him."
The promises of an eternal blessing to the offspring of Abraham have led many to misread the connection between the elect and the promise of the Savior as though it predicated a physical ancestry and recollection in an earthly location at a future date.
It is not the intention to address the position of premillennialism at this time but merely to point out the declarations of Scripture as to the seed of Abraham as it refers to the elect and the Seed of Abraham as it refers to Christ.
It is unavoidable, in studying the declarations of Scripture in this regard, that the view of the Baptists and other Arminian related doctrines would be refuted, on the one hand, and that those who are ignorant of who the seed of Abraham is are educated, on the other hand.
There is a difference between Abraham’s descendants and Abraham’s seed. The former deals with the physical descendants of Abraham, while the latter deals with the elect, the children of the promise.
With respect to Abraham’s descendants, the Jews per se, were never the seed of Abraham although the seed of Abraham was, for a time, exclusively found among Abraham’s descendants. Scripture, however, never identifies the seed of Abraham with Abraham’s descendants while it at all times identifies them with the believers.
The Old Testament identifies the seed of Abraham in the generations of Seth, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel), while the New Testament identifies them among all nations since Christ’s sacrifice remove any difference between Jew and Gentile. Regardless of where they are found, the children of the promise, named after Abraham as the father of all believers, are always the true children of God, the believers, the elect. These and these only are the seed of Abraham.
Before creation God wrote the names of the elect into the book of life; the ones He predestined to be called out from all the people in Revelation 21:27. God ordained everything for the sake of those whose names He has recorded, even the events of the fall in the Garden, and He sustained them with prophecies, promises, signs, and miracles, so that they my persevere to the end.
After the fall in the Garden, the promise of grace was announced to Adam and Eve and the Seed of the woman was promised victory over the evil one. This was the first step towards the manifestation of the church of Christ in the sinful world after the Father created it and recorded the members of it in the book of life before creation. The church was ever so delicate, it being a mere promise at the time, that the descendants of Abraham were called to be the hosts of the church during the times of the Old Testament, tutoring it under the law according to God’s grace, judgment, and mercy, until Christ was revealed as its Head when the time was right.
The failure of most of the Jews to recognize the Savior is not a failure of God's word, because Scripture teaches us that not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Not all of Abraham's children share the promise. Abraham was distraught that Sarah threw Hagar and Ishmael out after Isaac was born, because he was concerned for his eldest son, regardless whether he was born of an Egyptian maidservant. But God comforts Abraham, telling him that Ishmael's descendents will also be a great nation, but "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” (Gen 21:12).
In other words, it is not necessarily Abraham's natural children who are God's children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham's offspring. And if they are of his physical descendants, then they are to seek the Messiah also, since their ancestry means nothing. They have to be circumcised of the heart.
Why was it so important that Isaac should be considered the child of the promise and not Abraham's natural first-born son, Ishmael? Firstly, because Ishmael was conceived by a maidservant, who could not inherit with the father's legitimate children. And secondly, and perhaps the most important reason, is that Isaac could not have been conceived without a miracle. When God promised Abraham and Sarah that they will have a child, it was humanly impossible for Sarah to conceive, but Isaac was, nevertheless, born as God had promised. So, since Isaac could not have been conceived without the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit, he is the true ancestor of the promise of the blessings God bestowed upon his church. In God's eternal plan He ordained it so to prevent exactly what Mohammad tried to accomplish, by falsifying the gospel. Our comfort that the Scriptures are true and authentic lies, among other, in the miracle birth of Isaac proving that the Scriptures we read today are the product of the Holy Spirit as He conveyed it to the prophets and the Apostles.
It is not uncommon for God to make his will work in other ways than man-made rules. Consider that Jacob was younger than Esau, David was Jesse's youngest son, Isaac was younger than Ishmael, Joseph was the youngest, and so on, while it was the custom that the fathers blessed the firstborn sons.
Islam claims that the 7th century Jews changed the Scriptures to reflect that Ishmael was not part of the promise even though he was the first-born son. They accused the Jews of the time that they changed the Scriptures to disprove Mohammad's claim that he received divine revelations from God directly. But their own testimony indicts their doctrine rather than support it, because God's blessings were never promised to any physical ancestry but to the elect, the promised ones whom God have personally named in the book of life. All of the Muslims today, therefore, can still claim their ancestry from Abraham, but it remains meaningless, and if they deny the Messiah, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, then they have no hope, God the Father is not their father, and they become like the Jews who claim that Abraham is their father, while they are unable to hear what Jesus says.
John 8:37 -44 I know you are Abraham's descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38I am telling you what I have seen in the Father's presence, and you do what you have heard from your father. 39"Abraham is our father," they answered. "If you were Abraham's children," said Jesus, "then you would do the things Abraham did. 40As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. 41You are doing the things your own father does." "We are not illegitimate children," they protested. "The only Father we have is God himself." 42Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. 43Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say! 44You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies."
Here Jesus strikes a divide between them and the elect, those who are able to hear what He says, that is insurmountable. It is the same abyss that nobody can cross that Jesus spoke of in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus.
Paul also expressed anguish about his race, while they received so much and yet they failed to recognize the Messiah. In this passage, too, we see the physical ancestry being set apart from the believers.
Romans 9:2 – 8: I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.
Paul writes of his great anguish that he suffers in his heart because of his fellow Jews, who are blind to the Messiah whom the Jewish Scriptures speak about. Let's look at this passage in more detail.
We read of the great joy of the Apostle in chapter eight and in contrast thereto, he announces this great sorrow, even to the point where he utters an impossible desire, by figure of speech, that he is willing to be cut off from the promise if it would mean that the members of his race would see what it is that they are rejecting.
The Apostle clearly sets the descendants of Abraham apart from the seed. “…cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel.” There can be no ambiguity about who he is referring to. There is also no ambiguity that the Apostle understands clearly that to be not part of the Seed is to be cursed and cut off from Christ.
They received not only the promises, but they also had first-hand testimony and experience of the work of God in establishing his church and they still couldn’t see or understand what it is that God is doing, or how his plan for the church unfolds. The apostle Paul is suffering greatly because of this dichotomy within his race, namely, the seed of Abraham, which leans toward the gospel and the physical descendants of Abraham, which leans away from it as they hear it being preached. This divide is growing as the same gospel is preached to all and the same signs and testimonies are given to all, but only the elect understands it and are saved.
Let’s look at what the Apostle says in Rom 9:2 and further, of the testimonies and signs that the Israelites received while continuing to reject the salvation that is in Christ.
Theirs is the adoption as sons.
Exodus 4:22 Then say to Pharaoh, 'This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son.
Isaiah 1:2, 3 Hear, O heavens! Listen, O earth! For the LORD has spoken: "I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me. The ox knows his master, the donkey his owner's manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.”
Isaiah 63:7 – 10 I will tell of the kindnesses of the LORD, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the LORD has done for us--yes, the many good things he has done for the house of Israel, according to his compassion and many kindnesses. He said, "Surely they are my people, sons who will not be false to me"; and so he became their Savior. In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. Yet they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he turned and became their enemy and he himself fought against them.
Hosea 11:1 - 4 "When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. But the more I called Israel, the further they went from me. They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images. It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them. I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them.
Jeremiah 31:7 - 11 This is what the LORD says: "Sing with joy for Jacob; shout for the foremost of the nations. Make your praises heard, and say, 'O LORD, save your people, the remnant of Israel.’ See, I will bring them from the land of the north and gather them from the ends of the earth. Among them will be the blind and the lame, expectant mothers and women in labor; a great throng will return.
They will come with weeping; they will pray as I bring them back. I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble, because I am Israel's father, and Ephraim is my firstborn son.
"Hear the word of the LORD, O nations; proclaim it in distant coastlands: 'He who scattered Israel will gather them and will watch over his flock like a shepherd.’ For the LORD will ransom Jacob and redeem them from the hand of those stronger than they.
Romans 8:10 - 17 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation--but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God for you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, <"Abba,> Father.
The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
Theirs is the divine glory
This indicates the presence of God among them.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 5:1, 2 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
II Corinthians 3:7 – 9 Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious if the ministry that condemns men is glorious. How much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness.
Exodus 16:10 While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the LORD appearing in the cloud.
Genesis 15:5, 6 He took him outside and said, "Look up at the heavens and count the stars--if indeed you can count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be.” Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
Exodus 19:5, 6 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine. You will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.
Exodus 31:6 Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given skill to all the craftsmen to make everything I have commanded you.
II Samuel 7:8 "Now then, tell my servant David, 'This is what the LORD Almighty says: I took you from the pasture and from following the flock to be ruler over my people Israel.
The receiving of the law
The law was received with the covenants.
Exodus 13:9 This observance will be for you like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that the law of the LORD is to be on your lips. For the LORD brought you out of Egypt with his mighty hand.
Exodus 24:12 The LORD said to Moses, "Come up to me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and commands I have written for their instruction.
Joshua 8:32 There, in the presence of the Israelites, Joshua copied on stones the law of Moses, which he had written.
Psalm 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
Psalm 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
Psalm 37:31 The law of his God is in his heart; his feet do not slip.
Psalm 78:5 He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children.
Psalm 119:18 Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.
Psalm 119:34 Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart.
Proverbs 28:9 If anyone turns a deaf ear to the law, even his prayers are detestable.
Isaiah 42:24 Who handed Jacob over to become loot, and Israel to the plunderers? Was it not the LORD, against whom we have sinned? For they would not follow his ways; they did not obey his law.
Jeremiah 31:33 "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. "Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.”
Hosea 8:12 I wrote for them the many things of my law, but they regarded them as something alien.
Matthew 23:13 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.”
Galatians 3:17 – 19 What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise, for if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise. What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator.
The temple worship
Romans 12:1, 2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will
Psalm 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalm 116:12 How can I repay the LORD for all his goodness to me.
Isaiah 56:7 These I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.
There were promises of the Messiah to come throughout the Old Testament, from Gen 3:15 to Mal 3:1:
Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.
Isaiah 9:6, 7 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.
Isaiah 11:1 - 5 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him--the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD - and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist
Jeremiah 23:5, 6 "The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.
Malachi 3:1 "See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come," says the LORD Almighty.
Theirs are the patriarchs
Deuteronomy 10:15 Yet the LORD set his affection on your forefathers and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations, as it is today.
I Chronicles 16:36 Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Then all the people said "Amen" and "Praise the LORD.
I Corinthians 10:1 For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea.
John 8:39, 40 "Abraham is our father," they answered. "If you were Abraham's children," said Jesus, "then you would do the things Abraham did. As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things.
Acts 2:29, 30 "Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne.
Romans 9:5 Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.
We see then, that Paul had reason to grieve, knowing that the seed of Abraham was among his race, but that not all Jews were from Israel.
Although Scripture speaks of the descendants of Abraham meaning in some instances those of the flesh and in other instances those of the Seed, it is abundantly clear that the enmity was there from the beginning. The remnant of Israel is the seed of Abraham while the physical descendants of Abraham, the nation of Israel, were the host nation in which the infant church was cradled until the time for her revelation in Christ.
Galatians 3:29, and 4:1 - 7 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. He is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father.
So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world, but when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, <"Abba>, Father." So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.
The Apostle compares the Church of all ages to a growing child. In the old dispensation it is the heir, no different from a slave although already the owner of the entire estate, yet still a child but under the tutorship of the law.
Galatians 4:1, 2 What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. 2He is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father.
In the new dispensation the church has grown into an adult, having outgrown its infancy, freed itself, through the sacrifice of Christ, from the cradle of the law in which it had been in the old dispensation.
Galatians 3:29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Let’s look at further testimony of Scripture.
Romans 2:28 – 3:4 A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God.
What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God. What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written: "So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge."
Scripture teaches that a mere Jew never was the seed of Abraham, never was a real Jew, in the definition of Scripture. A real Israelite is a real Israelite in whose heart there is a spiritual reality corresponding to the sign of circumcision, that is, faith.
Galatians 3:7 – 9 Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: "All nations will be blessed through you." So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
Galatians 3:16 - 19 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say "and to seeds," meaning many people, but "and to your seed," meaning one person, who is Christ. What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise. What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator.
Essentially the seed of Abraham is Christ and He only. The Apostle emphasizes this in verse 16 deliberately stating that the singular is used instead of the plural. If Christ is, then, the seed of Abraham, it stands to reason that we can only be the seed of Abraham if we are in Christ. Nobody can be the seed of Abraham unless he is in Christ, whether of the old or the new dispensation, because there is one promise for one Seed.
It has, therefore, never been the intention that the elect, of whom Abraham is the father, would be the seed of Abraham in any other way than by the power of the promise, just as Isaac was. They are the true Jews, the elect.
So, when Scripture speaks of the seed of Abraham, it means only the true Israel, the children of the promise, for they and they alone are the seed of Abraham. The Jews, like everybody else, need to find their way through the Messiah who was promised, prefigured, and shown through miracles, prophets and the psalms to be the only way to the Father.
It is, therefore, clear teaching of the Word of God that there is only one people of God and that it is this people who is called the seed of Abraham in Christ. This seed of Abraham is not the Jews, neither the Gentiles, but the elect who are ordained to eternal life with Abraham. The unity of the church of all ages is incontrovertibly established in the purpose and good pleasure of God since before the creation of the world.
Let’s compare passages of Scripture from the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Hosea 1:10, 11 Hosea 1:10 "Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,' they will be called 'sons of the living God." The people of Judah and the people of Israel will be reunited, and they will appoint one leader and will come up out of the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel.
Romans 9:24 – 27 Even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles. As he says in Hosea: "I will call them 'my people' who are not my people; and I will call her 'my loved one' who is not my loved one," and, "It will happen that in the very place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,' they will be called 'sons of the living God.' Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved."
Jeremiah 31:31 – 34 "The time is coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. " It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them," declares the LORD.
"This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the LORD. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."
Hebrews 8:6 – 10 But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises, for if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people and said: "The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.
This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.
For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember
their sins no more." By calling
this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what
is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.
Amos 9:11 – 15 "In that day I will restore David's fallen tent. I will repair its broken places, restore its ruins, and build it as it used to be, so that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations that bear my name," declares the LORD, who will do these things.
"The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills. I will bring back my exiled people Israel; they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them," says the LORD your God.
Acts 15:13 – 18 When they finished, James spoke up: "Brothers, listen to me. Simon has described to us how God at first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for himself. The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written,
"'After this I will return and rebuild David's fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things' that have been known for ages."
Isaiah 22:22 I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.
Revelation 3:7 "To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open."
Isaiah 28:16 So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.
Romans 9:33 As it is written: "See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame." (Also I Peter 2:6)
Jerusalem and Mt. Zion are not destroyed but they are now realized and only their shadows are destroyed.
Hebrews 12:22 - 24 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
Galatians 4:21 - 31 Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. His son by the slave woman was born in the ordinary way; but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise.
These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children.
But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. For it is written: "Be glad, O barren woman, who bears no children; break forth and cry aloud, you who have no labor pains; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband."
Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. But what does the Scripture say? "Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman's son." Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.
Revelation 3:9 – 12 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars--I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.
I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name.
Revelation 21:1 – 4, 10 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.
The whole Word of God teaches this unity of the people of God and of all that pertains to them. All the promises are in Christ and through Him they are for the true seed of Abraham of all ages, the believers, the elect. The true Israel.
So, we can truly confess with the Confession about Christ,
He is a fruit of the loins of
born of the seed of David according to the flesh;
a fruit of the womb of the virgin Mary;
born of woman;
a branch of David;
a shoot from the stump of Jesse;
sprung from the tribe of Judah;
descended from the Jews according to the flesh; of the seed of Abraham, since the Son was concerned with the descendants of Abraham. Therefore He had to be made like His brethren in every respect, yet without sin.